OPEN BLOG TUESDAY: SNOW, SLEET, AND ICE..WHICH FORM OF PRECIPITATION DO WE WANT IN A WINTER STORM?

This storm was going to be tough from the beginning. It’s March. So, right away were dealing with some issues of sun angle, ground temps, etc.. However, this March, so far, has trended colder and more snowy than February. Yet, the past weekend we had arctic air in place. The set-up for the storm was there. And it was going to be a battle along the 95 corridor because of tracking, etc.. However, ALL major models had our area getting a 10+ inch snowstorm.  We did have to worry about mixing, but it seemed far less worrisome in New Castle County.  The storm arrived on time. Last night it started snowing pretty good about 10-11pm.  There was a nice layer of snow on the ground. Last nights short-term models showed there was the possibility of some sleet layer, but nothing  that big of deal. THEN we went to sleep.

WHY? Well, in the upper levels of the atmosphere somewhere between 2,500-10,000 feet there are shallow layers of the atmosphere where warmer air can sneak in.So, when the liquid fell and was about to layer our ground with nice fluffy snow there it changed to sleet and ice and then just plain ice. The ground was below freezing as well. 

And we got close to 1/3 of thickness of ice. For 6-7 hours of ice.  Sleet is counted in snow. It was wet and heavy. The ratio was low like  1:2  meaning one inch of liquid equals 2 inches of snow. We got close to  2 inches of liquid and we had 5 inches of snow/sleet. So, that ratio was really low.  The storm track didn’t help. A coast hugger  is never good for the Mid-Atlantic.  It brings in warmer air into a storm .It has to be below freezing or worse for that not to be a factor. It was at freezing, but not far below that.
Whew! Tired. It’s over. On our way to Spring! Hopefully

 

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